A group of former and current European diplomats have called on the P5+1 group of world powers and Iran to intensify their efforts to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal by the November 24 deadline set by the six countries.
“Postponing the final tough decisions ahead is likely to provide more opportunities for those opposing the diplomatic track to spoil this process,” they said in a statement released on Wednesday.
“This is especially so when creative technical solutions have been formulated and a deal is within reach,” the statement further read, adding the deal should address potential international concerns about Iran’s nuclear energy program and should respect “Iranian legitimate aspirations and sovereignty.”
Praising an interim nuclear deal reached between Iran and P5+1 in November 2013, they said, “Europe must seize this moment to encourage the negotiating parties to address the outstanding areas through reasonable compromises while steering clear of issues that are not essential to a good deal.”
The statement was signed by the former foreign minister of Spain, Italy and Sweden, as well as Javier Solana, the former EU high representative for foreign and security policy; President and CEO of International Crisis Group Jean-Marie Guéhenno; Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag (a German legislative body) Norbert Röttgen; and Robert Cooper, a former UK diplomat.
“Europeans should also work with the US administration in reassuring skeptical regional allies of the long-term strategic benefits entailed in a final nuclear deal,” they said.
They also noted that the compressive deal will also “reshape the West’s engagement with Iran by opening new options for pursuing overlapping regional interests.”
Noting that the two sides are “closer than ever before to settling the nuclear file,” they said that the goals “of non-proliferation, global and regional security, de-escalation of burning conflicts in the Middle East and the demonstrative effect of successful multilateral diplomacy in these troubled times will all significantly benefit if a good deal is achieved.”
The diplomats also warned that the cost of “failed negotiations should also be borne in mind.”
The statement comes as Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – France, Britain, the US, Russia, China – plus Germany are set to open a new round of discussions over the Islamic Republic’s civilian nuclear work in Oman on November 11.
The two sides have been holding talks to work out a final deal aimed at ending the longstanding standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program as a November 24 deadline draws near.